And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
This was a quote I saw at the end of 2011 by Anaïs Nin, and it resonated with me. I felt that I was at an impasse. At the end of 2011, I felt the urge to do something. I wanted to go somewhere. Everywhere. Anywhere. I wanted to do more.
And so, when 2012 came, I did.
I flew to Cebu, a city so close to where I grew up, but I never got to see before this year.
I went surfing in La-Union. My first attempt to try it last year was a bust and this year, I got to redeem myself and actually ride a wave out to shore.
I attended the Manila Transitio 1945 tour at Fort Santiago led by Carlos Celdran. It was a very interesting and informative day and was followed by a magical night ending with me releasing a spirit balloon.
I got high on caffeine at the Coffee Farmhouse in Tagaytay on a weekend with my colleagues.
I spent a weekend at Corregidor, the historical island located about 48 km from Manila, exploring the tadpole-shaped island’s barracks, seeing the vintage artillery and even went ghost-hunting at the old infirmary ruins.
I explored El Nido, Palawan and let it take my breath away.
I witnessed my little sister graduate from college. 5 years my junior, I saw my little sister grow up and I was filled with pride as I witnessed her enter the real world. And to celebrate, my sisters and I went all-out tourist in Hong Kong.
I attended our 10-year high school reunion in Samar.
I visited the historical province of Baler.
I stood at the foot of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a 12-hour lay-over.
Then went temple raiding in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
I tried wakeboarding in Batangas.
I joined my first run (from zombies!).
I attended the Surf and Music Festival in La Union.
I tried paintball with my friends. I went bowling again after an x amount of years. I attended gigs, discovered new music, saw movies and read books.
I went island-hopping in Caramoan, Camarines Sur and went wakeboarding again at CWC.
I went to Macau for my first solo trip and successfully bungy-jumped off the highest bungy jump in the world.
2012 was a year of wonder and discovery for me. It’s the year I met new people and the year my existing friendships grew stronger. A year I let go of my fears and let myself just be. The same year that I let myself fall in love completely and then got my heart unmercifully broken. I laughed the hardest but also cried the most.
There’s another quote that I’ve read a few years back that I think applies to my 2012 (I’m sure we all have our own versions of 2012). It’s by Jonathan Safran Foer from one of my favorite books, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. It goes:
You can not protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
And that is true. If I had remained as closed off as I was a few years ago, if I had kept my walls as high as they used to be, then all these things/events would not have happened. I would not have been as happy or sad. I would not have learned all I did about myself, and I did learn a lot.
Farewell, 2012. You’ve been truly good to me. It will be 2013 in a few hours, and I can’t wait for it to start.